Dangerous Intersection of Venice and Robertson Gets a Flashing Yellow Signal

Last November, David Lindley was walking across the street at the five point intersection of Venice and South Robertson Boulevard when he was struck and killed. Lindley, an autistic teen who attended nearby Hamilton High School, was mourned by friends and family who vowed to see the intersection fixed.

Three months later, with the construction and reconfigurations complete, a video by longtime Expo Line supporter/watcher Gökhan Esirgen showed that cars turning on to Robertson Boulevard were routinely turning left into the pedestrian path well after receiving a red light. Esirgen noted this wasn’t an unusual occurrence, but a decision to place expediency over the safety of pedestrians that was made with nearly every crossing.

Over six months after Lindley’s tragic death, LADOT recently unveiled its answer to the safety issues created by what one Hamilton High School student described as a “busy, confusing and dangerous” intersection, a flashing yellow arrow warning drivers to be aware of pedestrians. This is the first time the City of Los Angeles has used this traffic control device, but they are common in other parts of the country. Motorists have shown greater likelihood to yield during a flashing yellow arrow than a red one.

A good start, to be sure. Now if only the city would prioritize ticketing cars that turn against the light over pedestrians who are crossing the street safely and efficiently.

  • Oren

    That video is terrible. Amid all the unnecessary special effects, it fails to do the one thing it is supposed to do, which is to show how the signal works.

  • Steven White

    I think that should be “turning left onto Robertson Blvd.” (not Expo).

    I spend a minute or two at this intersection every day and the new light has definitely helped with those right turns from Robertson onto eastbound Venice. They need to add a solid white line on the right hand side of the right turn lane, though… it would keep drivers away from the curb and guide them into the vehicle lane instead of the bike lane. As it is, most drivers turn into the bike lane.

    Something like this (at 7th/Hope in Downtown) would help.

  • Alex Brideau III

    Green paint for the bike lanes in these conflict zones would help as well! :-)

  • Yes, Robertson. Thank You.

  • BrettinSF

    It would have been better if they would have not widened the street as part of the light rail development. It makes absolutely no sense to widen an intersection and increase crossing distance at the same time that you are inducing thousands more pedestrian trips a day through the same intersection. This lack of congruence decreases the return on investment of the infrastructure in the first place.

  • Alex Brideau III

    Yes. It’s ever so slightly overproduced.

  • Asher Of LA

    Speaking of dangerous government policies, LA has an obscenely high percentage of cars sporting illegal front side window rear tints – 10-20% perhaps? As a pedestrian, cyclist or even another driver, you can’t tell if one of these drivers sees you or not. And nighttime visibility with these is highly impaired as well – plus plenty of drivers are still wearing sunglasses because their windshield isn’t tinted, so they have two layers of tint when looking through their driver or passenger side front window during the day.

    Either these tinted windows are dangerous, as many suspect, and the law ought to be enforced, or they aren’t, and the law ought to be repealed. If it is indeed dangerous, it’s a travesty of justice to abdicate enforcing a law that promotes safety. And if it isn’t dangerous, then the government is selectively hassling people for no good reason. This middle ground of selective enforcement is unjust whatever way you look at it.

    If parking enforcement officers were deputized to hand out ‘fix-it’ tickets for these, to the tune of say $100+, plus stings for auto shops that do illegal tints that net fines of $1000+, the government could make a big dent in illegal tints in short order.

  • D G Spencer Ludgate

    Automobile drivers are required under CVC 21717 to merge into the bike lane prior to making a right turn. CVC 21717: Whenever it is necessary for the driver of a motor vehicle to cross a bicycle lane that is adjacent to his lane of travel to make a turn, the driver shall drive the motor vehicle into the bicycle lane prior to making the turn and shall make the turn pursuant to Section 22100. (CBC 22100: Except as provided in Section 22100.5 or 22101, the driver of any vehicle intending to turn upon a highway shall do so as follows: (a) Right Turns. Both the approach for a right-hand turn and a right-hand turn shall be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway…)

    This maneuver serve two purposes. (1) It slow the automobile when turning, thus increases pedestrian safety. (2) It reduces the “Right Hook” bicycle accident by allowing the cyclist to merge into the general travel lane and safely passing the automobile from the left.

    For an illustration of the above, please visit: https://www.sfbike.org/news/bike-lanes-and-right-turns/

  • Steven White

    That’s for when a bike lane is on the street the vehicle is turning FROM. In this case (and my example pictured), the bike lane is on the street the vehicle is turning TO.

  • Darren

    I’ve asked before and I’ll ask it again: Why didn’t Metro take advantage of the rail bridge to include a pedestrian bridge to at least the northwest corner of the intersection? I would provide a fast and safe means for many people to cross that intersection, and I am skeptical that it would have been prohibitively expensive to do so.

    Such a bridge would not obviate the need for better signalization at the intersection, which would still have heavy pedestrian volumes even with a ped bridge over the intersection. But still, does anyone know if such an idea was even considered? If yes, why did Metro throw it out?

  • Steven White

    Agree, would have been a great idea. The more access points, the better, and this would have created a nice access point to the station on the other side of a now very large intersection.

  • Added this location to our new database of dangerous intersections at http://www.badintersections.com

  • We’re derailing the topic here. But yes! I’ve been (rather quietly) advocating this for a while. One potential barrier is that the tint law is a state law, and so the city doesn’t have much incentive to enforce it since the money disappears.

  • Fabs Elie

    Fantastic writing , Coincidentally , if anyone is requiring a USCIS I-90 , my business saw a blank form here http://goo.gl/Twya9V.

  • Chee`ane Bryant

    Thank you for adding this to your site !
    My little brother was David Lindley.
    It is truly appreciated !


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